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Cave divers reunite to retrieve equipment at Tham Luang caves

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Divers involved in last July’s rescue of the 13 young Mu Pa footballers from the flooded Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai, are to reunite to retrieve around 100 tonnes of equipment left behind from the rescue.

The Thai navy SEALs and Finnish diver Mikko Paasi re-united this week for the first time since July 2018 when the last members of the Mu Pa team were retrieved from the cave complex.

In just another of the dramatic twists and turns throughout the two week search and rescue efforts, just minutes after the last divers emerged, pumps that had been clearing water from the cave failed and floodwaters rushed in, sending clean-up workers running for their lives and forcing them to abandon tonnes of air tanks, pumps, dive equipment, cables and pipes.

Many of the Thai-based divers, rangers, engineers and local volunteers who helped in the international rescue effort, are expected to take part in the clean-up and retrieval project.

Finnish diver Mikko Paasi, one of the 18 international divers, says he’s looking forward to resolving questions that had haunted him since the rescue.

The 43 year old Koh Tao diving instructor, who was one of the many highly-skilled divers helping bring the sedated team members through the most difficult ‘choke points’, says he was forced to double-back during the first rescue after getting stuck.

“Maybe it was five minutes I was stuck there. I don’t know. Time stopped. I really want to see that spot without water in it. That choke-point has been in my dreams.”

A 3 metre bronze statue stands in memory of Saman Gunan, the Thai diver and ex-Navy SEAL who died during the rescue, near the entrance of the Tham Luang caves where a full exhibit and display will open soon to the public.

Cave divers reunite to retrieve equipment at Tham Luang caves | News by Thaiger

 

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